Dinajpur is the most ethnic minority population district in the northern Bangladesh. IPs are living in this district in all 13 upazilas among which Dinajpur Sadar is one. Chehelgazil,Shundarbon and Fazilpur are three different unions of this upazila where around 536 IP families live in 28 different para. They are Santal-526 households (HH), kole- 4 HH, Urao-3 and Mahali -3 HH by ethnicity. Total population of these HH is 2528 with average family size 4.71. There are around 340 children aged between 3-6 years. Almost 95% families live from hand to mouth by selling day labour both women and men.  Only 5% HH have some land and the remaining live either in khash (government owned) land or in other’s land. They have very limited access to different services. Only 33 HH get safety net service facilities from government or local government institutions though all of them fall in the category. From own income, they only are able to meet 4 months food and for the remaining period of time, they rely on lending money  with high interest, advance labour sell, having less even  sometimes no food, collecting food from jungle.

Due to poverty, social discrimination, language and cultural differences, child education status is very poor.  Though few over aged (compare to the classes they attend) children go to school, however having language barrier and no pre-schooling, drop out rate found very high. 

The “Santal Children Development Project (SCDP)”has been designed as Initiative to enhance opportunities for development of ethnic minority Communities through child focus program in project area.

Overall Goal: Educated Santal Generation in targeted area is build up

Project Purpose:Targeted area’s Santal communities’ mainstreaming in terms of primary education


  • Education opportunities for Santal’s children is available in the target area
  • Santal’s children of the target area continue their education at formal primary school with similar facilities as greater community children.
  • Relevant stakeholders are taking initiatives in mainstreaming Santal children at formal primary education in the target area


  • Santal  Children
  • Santal  peoples including parents
  • Santal Adolescent girls and boys

Strategy and methodology:

  • The proposed project has been designed on the basis of observations of field visit jointly by GBK and Shapla Neer team in different locations of ethnic minority communities. All we visited different villages of ethnic minority communities, shared with the community peoples and tried to understand their sufferings, problems and vulnerabilities.
  • The proposed project is being implemented through establishing Child Development Centre (CDC) at community level. Children from different households are attending in the CDC and will receive a one year duration pre-schooling course taught by an ethnic minority teacher selected from the same community. The teacher deals with the children in their own language and culture and teach them preparatory education (alphabet, numeric), discipline by which their moral courage will be increased to attend and continue in mainstream primary school.
  • 10 CDCs will be implemented in each year with 20 Santal children in each. Accordingly 200 santal children will get CDC support and among them 100 in each will be enrolled in nearby formal primary school. The remaining 100 will be slow learner or under aged and will be continued for next year. Other 100 will be included in the substantial year. According to this process, 300 santal children will be enrolled in the formal primary school in three years of the project. All these children will come from around 250-300 families.   

Methodologies are-

  • Physically visit field and sharing with Santal community peoples
  • Project related information collection of the proposed working area
  • Synthesis collected information in a team and situation analysis
  • Problem analysis
  • Develop Logic Tree
  • Develop Project design matrix (PDM)
  • Develop Operational guidelines
  • Develop Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
  • Project staff orientation
  • Project staffs Orientation and knowledge sharing
  • Monitoring Plan

Donor:  SHAPLA NEER,Citizens’ Committee in Japan for Overseas Support

Major Activities:

  1. Increasing opportunities for Santal children education in the target area.

Establishment of Child Development Centre (CDC)

  • Project related information collection by project staffs from targeted area
  • Sharing meeting on child education with targeted Santal community people
  • Centre management committee (CMC) formation for part of CDC management
  • Foundation training for CDC teachers and Staffs
  • Conduct CDC class by teachers
  • Education  and classroom material  provide for CDC children
  • School dress for CDC children
  • Stipend  support for children at CDC
  • CDC graduate children enrollment in Primary School
  • Follow up support for CDC graduate primary school going children

Project Support for rapport building with targeted  Parents to assist their children’s education

  • Formation of Parents Forum
  • Provide development Education to parents
  • Seed and Sapling Support to parents for homestead gardening as nutritional support to CDC children
  • Financial assistance by the project to the parents to contribute on   their child education expense
  • Meeting with Union Parishad to increase Safety-net support for Santal’s

2. Strengthening facilities for Santal students at formal primary school in the target area.

  • Meeting with formal primary School Teachers
  • CDC visit by formal primary School Teachers
  • Formal primary   School visit by CDC children

3. Interaction of Santal culture with greater communities to promote development of Satntal’s child education

  • Formation of adolescent (girls and boys) volunteers group from Santal community
  • Support to adolescent to perform in Santal’s cultural program
  • Day observation (Santal Hull, international mother language day/ international literacy day/ Independent Day/ victory day)

Learning, sharing and Coordination to strengthen relevant stakeholders initiatives for Santal child education

  • Meeting with Upazilla Education Office
  • CDC Visit by Upazilla Education Officials
  • Meeting with NGOs working on Sanatl issues
  • Meeting with Santal leaders
  • Coordination meeting among the all relevant stakeholders